Today’s advice from the heart:
Avoid all haughty, conceited, proud, and arrogant minds, and remain peaceful and subdued.
I have to admit, this one is tough for me. Moreso for the understanding that all perspectives regarding another being ‘haughty’, ‘conceited’, ‘proud’, or ‘arrogant’ are, in fact, reflections of things within myself that have yet to be resolved or reconciled. That said, there is wisdom in the notion of avoiding the things you know are going to cause you to have those perspectives. THAT said, it is difficult to be wise when you’re all wrapped up in thinking how haughty, et al someone else is behaving.
I continue to be quietly impressed with how progression through these pieces of advice seem to be coinciding with events in my day to day life. I am embroiled in a bit of difficulty with someone of late who seems very much to embody all of those qualities (even as I’ve already admitted to “knowing” they’re more reflections of things here). The issue is, I am unable to remove myself from the situation without removing a great deal more than merely my presence.
This, of course, means that I must work upon finding the way to be at peace and unruffled (subdued) in relation to this person. It’s damned hard, because so much of what I perceive as causing the difficulty is a continued insistence upon certain behaviors that are unhelpful to either of us. And, of course, my own inability to choke down or neutralize my own frustration and anger at it all.
(Do you have any idea how difficult it is to try and talk about this without being specific? Part of the practice for me; I find that the distance, enforced in this manner, makes me look at it from other than my own reaction. Well, somewhat.)
Have you ever encountered someone who seems more interested in getting their way than insuring the best result for all concerned is reached? Or someone who is more than happy to (seemingly) deliberately end-run around you because they seem to believe or think that you’re only going to keep them from getting ‘what they want’?
I detest when things become personalized in this manner, but it just seems to be something I cannot help when attempting to relate to this person. The more I try to explain or defuse things, the worse things get. It’s actually becoming quite depressing, because I fully understand that, if I cannot find some means by which to effect a helpful resolution, the entire situation is going to explode and that’s not going to be helpful to any of us. In fact, it likely will be most unhelpful to the very person I would so much like to figure out how to soothe.
It is difficult for me to ‘remain peaceful or subdued’ about things because it seems as if not engaging is going to result in difficulty because things are being done in a way they should not be (this much, knowingly so), but engaging is only inflaming matters and will, eventually, result in an equally distasteful and unhelpful explosion (albeit for entirely different reasons).
I feel as if I’m trapped in a ‘catch-22’. I very much feel as if doing nothing will not only result in the above, but also demonstrate that this manner of doing things can/will succeed, thereby opening the door to MORE of them.
I am fully cognizant that, should this person ‘blow themselves up’ by doing this, that it is not my ‘fault’. I also know that, in all likelihood, letting it blow up on them will probably result in removing them completely from all ability to repeat the error. But it is highly likely that this removal will be of a fashion that is very unhelpful to them and, damn it, I actually have care of and for them and am trying to help keep them from hurting themselves.
It does occur to me that the foundational issue is that I shouldn’t feel compelled to protect them from their own, poor choices.
It also occurs to me that I would not feel as frustrated, angry, or depressed were it not so incredibly obvious that my help is unwanted and their predicament is invisible to themselves.
And yes, it also occurs to me that I would automatically be more peaceful and subdued in relation to it all were I not trying so hard to protect them from themselves.
This is a pretty life-long struggle for me – having an urge and need to try and help and not being wise enough to know when I should let others blow themselves up so they can learn from it.
This piece of advice shows up ‘right on time’ for me, because the process of unloading all of this into this post allows me to walk through it all and get the ‘middle way’ perspective that I haven’t been allowing myself to consider. It also forces me to ‘fess up to the reality that I simply cannot do this for anyone other than myself.
There’s no helping someone who doesn’t want it, won’t accept it, or who twists it all out of shape (regardless the reasons I perceive that they do so). In fact, to spend the time trying to figure out the reasons is, itself, pointless and unhelpful to ME because not only are these things nothing more than expressions of internals, they are utterly without foundation or support outside my head.
There really couldn’t be a more futile effort, could there? Well, no, there could be… and it would be if, after all these letters, I continued doing it.
Whew. I think that maybe I just made a decision. Do you know how I can tell? I already feel more peaceful.
I cannot stop this person from doing what they choose to do.
I cannot make this person understand my intent or perspective.
I cannot protect this person from the outcomes of their choices.
I cannot be of help when what help I would offer or give is refused.
I will do what I believe and think is the right and appropriate thing to do for myself.
I will do nothing more in relation to this situation or this person.
I will allow outcomes to flow, unimpeded by my efforts.
By this, I will return to a sense of peacefulness that will allow me to remain subdued in relation to it as well.
I cannot tell you how completely timely this piece of advice from the heart is for me. Or how much I thank you, you nebulous, unknown you, for being out there to incent me to undertake this.